Exchange students and student tutors went to Ranua Zoo to see the polar bear.
On the 23rd of August, Lapland UAS exchange students and student tutors went to the Ranua zoo for the last orientation day.
We started the day with a 1-hour bus trip but since we had cheerful chatting, the time passed very quickly and we did not feel that long. After we got to Ranua, we met exchange students and student tutors from Kemi-Tornio as well. (story continues after the picture)
The day was full of walking and learning about different animal species such as reindeer, owls, musk ox, moose and bears. The weather was sunny and a bit chilly. Some animals like brown bears and the Pallas’s cat were having a sunbath. However, many animals were either hiding or sleeping. It was a pity that we did not see any polar bears, but everyone is actively looking for the resting animals. There was a polar bear’ statue and you could be able to take pictures with it. You could also check what kind of bird you are based on your hands' length on the board. (Story continues after the picture)
There is also a coffee shop, some restaurants and souvenir shops. Quite many choices of food are provided in restaurants such as buffet lunch and pizzas. They were delicious. There were over 50 students participated and a few people also got there by their own car. Everyone enjoyed spending their time there. We spent around 3 hours sightseeing and travelled back to the Rovaniemi campus. After all everyone got back safe and no one was left behind. Most of them were satisfied with the trip, and they would like to recommend it to future students to visit here.
Pictures: Beibei Xiang
During your studies at Lapin AMK, you have a great opportunity to go abroad for exchange studies. It can be for the period of one semester or for the whole year.
Going on exchange is a perfect opportunity to make some of your dreams come true! You can choose from many educational institutions all over the world, where you would like to go. The opportunities can be checked here: Link to Solemove.
Before applying for the exchange, some planning must be done. Make sure that all the stages are settled before the actual application period starts – the dates together with the necessary steps before, during and after application period are mentioned here, but do not hesitate to ask for help if something seems unclear for you.
For me one of the important parts during preparation was to make sure that my future studies abroad are accepted to my current degree at home University; two courses were not covered by the exchange program, but we went through it with study counselor and the problem was solved.
There are different types of exchange programs (depends on the chosen University) with a possibility to apply for the grant. However, the grant does not cover all expenses, thus make sure that you have enough sufficient funds to support you. The description of the programs can be found under the “Studying Abroad” section. Often the partner Universities has the necessary info (for example accommodation prices) at their website – browse it. Take a close look at language requirements, in my case we had one university in Spain, where 2 courses were held in Spanish, thus it required at least basic knowledge of Spanish language.
Before picking the University, check its location, what does it offer apart from your main studies and other opportunities such as extra courses/ sport events/ possibilities for leisure/ traveling around. When I was choosing my destination, the crucial point for me was the language. I wanted to go to the country, where English is the native language. It was quite a challenge, as of course teachers in my university speaking very good English, but no one speaks as good as native speakers. It ended up being a great idea for me, as language skills increased rapidly.
During my exchange period I was a part of the volleyball team at university, traveled around, made good friends and found a practical training place for myself, as you can see the time was not wasted 😊
Apart from language skills, exchange provides you with the chance to dive into atmosphere and culture of a chosen country. You can go to the place, which is completely opposite from your home country and/or the country where you are studying. Maybe, it is the country, where you always wanted to travel!
Hence, do not miss a great chance to expand your horizon, meet different people and open new possibilities for yourself! 🎓
Exchange students of Lapland UAS visited the Ranua Zoo. The most popular animal was -of course- the polar bear.
On a sunny Thursday, our exchange students from the Rovaniemi and Kemi campuses visited Ranua Zoo together with Lapland UAS International Services and three student tutors.
The bus left in the morning from the Kemi campus, stopped by Rovaniemi campus to pick up more students and headed to Ranua. The bus ride from Kemi to Ranua via Rovaniemi took a couple hours. On the way the bus was filled with lots of joyful giggling and talking.
The day in the zoo included snacks by the fire, lunch in the restaurant, souvenir shopping, enjoying the sunshine and most importantly – getting to see the animals of the zoo. Typical Finnish animals such as reindeer, moose, lynx, owls, bears were seen. Also, the most popular attraction of the zoo, polar bear!
After the sunny and warm afternoon in the zoo, the bus took the happy travelers back to the campus towns. The trip was a success and everyone loved the time spent together.
Here some pictures from our trip:
Moving abroad may be an exciting and thrilling event at the same time. There are several things which are better to be done before coming to the country.
Things to do before arrival
First of all, make sure that you are meeting the entry requirements – as a future student from the EU you do not need as visa, however if you are coming outside of the EU, most likely you need a student visa. It is better to apply in advance, as the process might take up to a few months.
Find an apartment – there are options to choose. Location, price, the type of the apartment – all these points are to be considered before making your choice. What happened to me is that after the 1st year of my studies I’ve made some good friends and we started to rent an apartment in the city together after the first summer. Once the apartment is chosen, check what will be in the apartment once you will arrive there. Some of the apartments do not have furniture, dishes, blankets/pillows, thus you will need to take care of it yourself.
Check the acceptance email carefully – it may contain some important information, for example about the enrolment for the upcoming semester, information of the future studies and other useful tips and contacts regarding your studies.
In Finland Kela is taking care of student’s health care fees.
Familiarize yourself with this system, what does it offer and what needs to be done in order to register there. There is a healthcare unit for students too and you’ll be introduced to it soon after the beginning of the studies, but small research will always benefit you.
Once the documental side of the matter is done, check the area, where you will be living – nearby shops, hospital, cafeterias… It is also good to know the transport system as at least you’ll have to get to your accommodation from your arrival point and then get the basic supplies.
It may be useful to go through social media of the University – there are may be other future students looking for their future classmates or other students/tutors offering help to the newcomers. And please check the University pages, especially the Guide for new students
. There is valuable information for new students.
Once you arrived
If you are arriving outside of the EU it especially makes sense to purchase a Finnish SIM-card.
All foreigners, who are intending to reside in Finland have to register in Finnish Population Information System. They have the sufficient information on their website or you can call them and ask necessary questions.
Bicycle is a very popular transport in Finland and Rovaniemi is easy to explore by cycling around. I would recommend to get the bike once you have the chance. You can buy it from the 2nd hand store, other students or get a brand-new from the shop.
Rovaniemi is a very popular tourist destination for the winter season. There are many companies involved in this business and they are looking for the seasonal workers every season – it might be a good chance to try yourself in Finnish working environment, get some experience and to meet new people!
Despite all abovementioned points do not let me to overwhelm you with that load of info! Go through all the processes step by step and feel free to ask for help. If you are worried about your language skills – still do not hesitate to talk to people. Based on my own experience, the more you push yourself, the better you get. There are no stupid questions and it is normal to take your time while searching for the correct word. Practice makes perfect!
You have chosen the wonderful place to study and I wish you a good luck 😊
- Kseniia, IB-student -
On the 22nd of March 2022, Lapland UAS incoming team organized a visit to reindeer farm Raitola for exchange students.
The bus to the reindeer farm departed from the campus half-past three, and the drive to the reindeer farm took approximately 20 minutes. The weather for this trip was awesome – the sun was shining, and the temperature was a bit on the plus side.
Upon arrival at Raitola, exchange students got to know safety instructions for the reindeer ride, and after these instructions, they went on a reindeer ride in pairs – sleds were big enough for two. Organizers, Maria and Riikka, and international tutors, Viivi and Anastassia, got a chance to participate in this activity! (text continues after the pictures)
After the reindeer ride, the reindeer herder of Raitola offered warm juice and buns, and he talked more about the reindeer and about the reindeer herding. Reindeer info raised several questions within the exchange students, and he was able to answer for almost all of those, except one that many people ask – how does Santa make reindeer fly. When all questions were answered, the employee gave everyone a reindeer driver’s license, and the dinner was served. As a dinner, there was sautéed reindeer, which was delicious, and the choice of serving did not cause any surprise, since everyone had learned that the reindeer that end up in the flesh are not the same ones they had just met.
After the dinner, everyone was full and happy, and the bus back to the campus came.
There is so much to see here in Lapland.
I've been living in Lapland for over 6 months now and it's hard to put into words how much I've fallen in love with this place since moving here. I have crossed many items off my wish list and have had one of the best experiences of my life here.
When you think of Lapland, you think of the Northern Lights. No matter where we're from, we've all heard about the colorful lights dancing over the snowy northern landscape. My biggest dream from a young age was to see them for myself, and here it finally came true. One of the best places I saw the Northern Lights was near Rovaniemi in Norvajärvi. We rented a car and picked a place on the map where the chances of seeing Northern Lights were good. Halfway there, we stopped on the side of the road and saw the lights, which were red and purple in addition to the usual green. That was one of my best experiences. The place itself was just a small road next to a frozen lake. The definition of "in the middle of nowhere." The whole sky was on fire and dancing around.
During my studies, I also visited Kilpisjärvi, the northernmost municipality in Finland. My friends and I once again rented a car and drove north. Our plan was to hunt northern lights, but unfortunately that was not the day. We were disappointed, but soon we saw the beautiful mountains, which we could clearly see as the bright light of the moon reflected off the fresh snow that covered the entire landscape. On our way north we found a laavu (Finnish word for a place to sit around a fire), parked the car and made a campfire. While eating marshmallows and sausages with perunaleipä (Finnish word for potato bread), we enjoyed the beautiful scenery Finland offered us.
On the way back from my trip to France, I accidentally boarded the wrong train in the Finnish capital Helsinki and ended up in the Finnish Lake District. Despite my disappointment, I enjoyed my time travelling in the wrong direction because I was able to experience the beauty of the region through the windows of the train.
I can say without a doubt that those months I spent in Lapland were some of the bests in my life so far. Even if you don't come here to study or for an Erasmus program, come here one day, you just have to see it for yourself.
1st year Data Engineering Student -
Here are some useful tips to help you with your studies.
“It is Wednesday afternoon, and I am in class. Online, as most days now. The teacher has just instructed us to move to our individual Teams chats to work on a group assignment. I find the instructions on Moodle and click to join the meeting, which has already been started by another student in my group. As I enter the meeting I overhear one of my classmates saying, ‘I am still getting over the shock that we have an exam next week’. Wait what? Did I miss something? Had I started daydreaming while the teacher had mentioned an exam? I am sure I was listening! Not wanting to admit to my fellow students that I had missed something I open Moodle and feverishly check the calendar and there it is: an eExam scheduled for next week Monday based on the required reading of about eight scholarly articles. How did this happen to me… again?”
In my first semester I continuously got surprised by assignments, especially since classes were (as they still are) online and I never got to talk to my classmates about what’s coming up next. I quickly realised that, for a slow reader like me, I had to manage my learning more carefully than others. I had to schedule time for reading in advance and I had to find alternative ways to consume knowledge. Now in my 4th semester, I want to share the tools I picked up along the way. If the above scenario fills you with as much anxiety as is does me, the below list might have some useful tips for you to help with your studies.
1. Snip & Sketch (Windows+Shift+S)
This may be more of a generic tool, but I use it all the time – all the time – both for my studies and in my private life. It’s a free app that should be preinstalled on all Windows computers. So far, I have always had to go into the Start menu and manually find it but I recently learned there is a keyboard shortcut to quickly open the app. The app allows you to take a screenshot of either your entire screen or just the section you select and saves it to the clip board. This means you can instantly paste it into a message or document, or you can open it in the app, crop it, doodle on it, and save it to your computer. I can’t imagine my life without it!
2. Gantt Chart
Figure 1. Screenshot of a Sample Timeline Created in Excel (Siippainen, 2021)
Some semesters are more stressful than others. When I have a semester that is laden with reading and assignments, I find it helpful to visualise deadlines. Personally, I like to use a Gantt-chart (Figure 1) inspired approach where I mark the dates in an Excel calendar and highlight the week leading up to the date. This way I can see when assignments are overlapping and can adjust my time accordingly.
Figure 2. OneNote for Windows, Version 16001.14326.20674.0. Example of Organisation and Handwritten Note. (Siippainen, 2022)
When I first heard about OneNote I was unimpressed. Since then, I have been converted: when it comes to taking notes, OneNote is superior in every way to a traditional word processing program such as MS Word and Google Docs and here is why:
• You can sync it to multiple devices
• Rather than creating folders and subfolders to organise your notes you can use sections and pages – all visible in one look. You can even colour code your notes to distinguish between semesters or modules
• You can use a stylus with it and take hand-written notes or even draw (if you are a manual person like me)
• You can link between pages, when – like in my studies – modules are connected or related. In OneNote you can link one page of your notes to another to quickly switch between them
• You can share notes and collaborate
• You can dictate your notes or thoughts. I only learned about this tool recently, so I have not yet had a chance to give it a try but I can imagine myself using it for when I am stuck in an essay and just need to get an idea on paper without worrying about the wording or grammar.
At the moment I use it mostly just to take notes and to keep track of books and articles for quick referencing. But the OneNote is so versatile, I can even imagine using it instead of Power Point or Prezi to present the results of online group work.
Some of the information I listed above I got from a YouTube video aimed at GMs (Game Masters). While the video is intended for a different purpose the tips are relevant also for students so if you would like to check it out follow this link: https://youtu.be/2GBwxzRYOXE?t=240 (timestamp: 4:00-17:00).
Concentration is an issue for most students. The amounts of times I have sat and tried to read a scholarly article only to be reading the same sentence over and over again are uncountable. There are benefits though, to picking up a book on the topic you are researching:
• Read the table of contents of several books – Which themes are repeating? Which sources are referenced a lot? Even if you don’t read anything else in the book this will help you narrowing down your Google search.
• Books are less compressed than YouTube videos or Wikipedia articles. This means they might expose you to issues adjacent to your topic which may lead you to discover new ideas or form new connections.
• The library has more than just books. Especially during those times when most of the lectures were online the library offered me the perfect study location: it’s quiet but not too quiet, a lot of information is at my fingertips, I know I am not on my own in my struggles because I am surrounded by others equally fixated by their screens. We are alone, together!
5. Podcasts, Video Essays, & Blinks
The production value and quality podcasts and video essays is increasing every day. If you have trouble focusing on reading something while sitting still in a stuffy room, see if there is a podcast on your topic from a respectable resource. As an example, the CIPD is a reputable HRM association and regularly interviews industry experts on current issues Figure 3.
Figure 3. Spotify for Windows Version 188.8.131.525.g5ea20b00 (Spotify AB, 2022)
If you love to absorb new ideas but you just can’t find the time, consider Blinkist (Figure 4) – an app that summarises non-fiction books into short 15-20min reads, so called “Blinks”. With a free account you get one Blink per day, and it gets even better: if reading just isn’t for you they also have an audio version of each Blink so you can listen to it on the move. Since I signed up in 2018 I have gained knowledge on many topics new to me like, what pirates were really like and what we can learn from them (Be More Pirate by Conniff) or how understanding our decision making can help us make better choices (Think Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman).
Figure 4. Screenshot from Blinkist App for Android Version 8.14.3. (Blinkist Labs GmbH, 2022)
It is important to note that you should distinguish between media that provides inspiration (Blinkist, most video essays and podcasts) and media which can be used as an academic resource (only some video essays and pod casts from respectable resources).
- Liisa, tourism student -
Valentine’s Day in Finland is called Ystävänpäivä! which literally means Friend’s Day.
……. It was a Finnish assignment from my Suomi 2 course, we were to design an invitation card in Finnish inviting our friends to a party, including dates, food, color code and all.
I decided to design a card that represents the month of February, it’s the month of love, right?
February is always special amongst months of the year for several reasons, notable of course is VALENTINE’S DAY 😉.
All over the world there’s a lot of excitement in the air, the day is dedicated to romantic couples as a day to share intimate moments, ignite the flames of scented love feelings through romantic dates and heartwarming gifts.
I made a search about “Valentine’s Day celebration in Finland”, hoping to see a lot of romantic options but alas! I found a very interesting result: Valentine’s Day in Finland is called Ystävänpäivä! which literally means Friend’s Day.
In Finland the day is dedicated to friends and not just lovers and couples! The country (I found out it’s the same in neighboring Estonia) values friendship enough to make a whole day to celebrate it in the purest of forms.
According to sources, it all started in the ’80s (1987 is cited as the starting year), this special day was mainly a school celebration where students were encouraged to give hand-made gifts to their friends to celebrate their friendship. (YLE uutiset 2008)
While Ystävänpäivä was officially included in Finnish calendars in the end of 1980’s, the tradition has become deeply ingrained in the cultural fabric of Finnish society and today is widely celebrated throughout the country. Valentine’s Day is the second most popular card giving holiday in Finland.(Yle uutiset 2008)
All over the country there are decorations of love in restaurants and public spaces, and people buy and package lots of gift items for their loved ones, of course this includes couples however romance doesn’t take the center stage like in many countries, here FRIENDSHIP leads.
So, if you ever feel unaccommodated in the general mode of Valentine’s Day celebration and would rather be with friends and have a good time without feeling awkward, then Finland is the place for you!
I eventually designed my Invitation card and invited all my classmates to a “hypothetical “Friend’s Day celebration with the dress code being red (of course we can wear any color since it’s not exactly valentine 😊) there will be lots of cakes and wine, and we will merry as jolly good friends!
-Oladeji, Nursing student-
Internships are an important part of business studies in Lapland University of Applied sciences. International Business students are often interested in doing their internship in a Finnish company in Lapland. International students not only learn about the field of business they get to work on but also the Lappish culture. For an entrepreneur, having a trainee is a great way of getting help and knowledge on developing one's business.
My name is Laura Tyimofejev, and this is my 3rd year at Lapland UAS as an International Business student. Being a foreigner in Lapland is hard in terms of finding jobs. Therefore, finding internships where you don't necessarily need Finnish language skills is also hard.
But luckily you can find entrepreneurs whom you can help and learn from. In my case I’m doing my internship at Riia Valvimo’s company, which she has been running for two years as a solopreneur at Rovaniemi. Valvimo - Happy marketing agency is focused on helping other businesses to improve their marketing.
For me it was quite interesting to get to know the Finnish working ethics and how businesses work here in Finnish Lapland. I’m happy that I have the opportunity to do my internship remotely from my home country Hungary. Luckily marketing is a field of business where it’s quite easy to work from abroad and still be efficient with the work tasks.
I’ve not only had the happy entrepreneur Riia Valvimo but also a Finnish business student Riika Saastamoinen to collaborate with. In our mutual communications we use English. I think there are no problems working with a Finnish student even though the language tricks us sometimes, but we managed to work efficiently.
Finding out the collaboration opportunities
During my internship Riia got the opportunity to work on a project for Lapland UAS and as interns we also got the opportunity to help her with it. The project aims to find out how Lapland UAS could help and support IB-students to get employed, find internships, collaborate with local companies, or become entrepreneurs in the Lapland region. I’ve been assisting in this project by doing research, reaching out to people, helping to plan surveys, and the list goes on.
I’m happy to invite English speaking entrepreneurs in the Lapland region to answer our survey which aims to find out the possibilities of collaboration between students and companies. Answer the survey here: Link to the survey
The thing that makes Lapland UAS differ from other UAS in Finland is that Lapland UAS is a relatively small and young, so everybody just knows each other. It made me feel like I was in a family.
First of all, let me introduce myself, my name is Hien and I am an international student from Vietnam. I came to Lapland UAS in the Autumn 2019 semester and have been doing my studies in the Business Information Technology programme since then.
When I first came to Finland, my first impression was the cold weather, it was not a really good impression. However, it only took me few weeks to get used to the weather condition of Lapland, and that was the first good signal for a guy coming from a tropical country.
Then I had my first class, only few days after I made arrangements for my living. I suddenly realized that the teaching style in Lapland UAS, in Finnish universities in general, is very different from my home country. It requires from the students the ability for self-studying and doing research to acquire knowledge. Firstly, we received very helpful instructions from the teachers and were allowed freely to explore the knowledge on the internet and were always welcomed back and receive feedback from the teachers. That process really stimulated the creativity in every student, personally, I find I had more room and support to get what I want to learn in each course/subject. Secondly, the topics taught in each course/subject were very up to date, in my case, I had the chance to discover the newest technique for data analytics with Python, business intelligence (sorry for being academic in this sentence :D), and many other cool things which are beneficial for my future career. Finally, the thing that makes Lapland UAS differ from other UAS in Finland is that Lapland UAS is a relatively small and young, so everybody just knows each other. It made me feel like I was in a family, and the friendliness of the tutor and teachers make the students feel comfortable reaching out to them via emails for support in studying and in life. The support from the teachers and tutor had helped me getting through many obstacles during my time as a student.
About living in Finland in general, especially in Lapland, the variety of weather conditions throughout the year really strengthen my adaptability. From minus 30 degree in winter to 30 degree in summer, enrich my sense of experience for life. In winter, I was very surprised by a lot of outdoor activities that Finnish organize, such as national skiing, cross countries skiing, ice fishing competition, or just building snowman with family members.
Personally, I utilize the winter time to concentrate on myself, to reach into my deeper-self, equip myself with good habits for better “me”. In autumn, enjoying the sun, you would see a different Finland, a more dynamic one, the national festivals organized everywhere in the country. Especially in Lapland, the place you can see the clearest contrast between day and night, it is normal if someday the sun does not set. Personally, I traveled to many cities in Finland to explore the culture, during my first summer. I have been to Helsinki, Lahti, Suonenjoki, etc, and have made a lot of new good friends with whom I am still staying in touch.
Besides the weather, the Finns are very warm and friendly, which are completely opposite to their winter. There are many foreigners who said that Finns are very introvert and you can easily find a lot of meme on the internet about the Finnish “stereotype”. To me, Finnish people are so special and with extremely admirable virtue, they are shy in the crowd and barely express their feelings to others, but they have truly bonding relationship with their close people, truly know and understand who they are, which is lacking in so many other countries’ people, especially in the age of internet explosion and social media. I heard some people say you would have been very lucky to have a Finnish friend because it could be a life-time friendship.
That is about my personal experience about studying and living in Finland, and definitely not all about this magnificent country. I will leave the space for you, the readers, the future Lapland students, the foreigners to discover more beautiful things about Finland.
- Hien -